French soccer player Kurt Zouma found himself in trouble after a video showing him physically assaulting his pet cat at his home surfaced on social media. The Premier League footballer was seen kicking and slapping the Bengal cat.
The video, appeared to be recorded by Zouma's brother, Yoan, was initially uploaded on Snapchat.
Zouma Laughs and Kicks the Cat
In a clip obtained by The Sun, the West Ham defender is seen placing the cat on his right foot and kicking it cat across the floor in kitchen. The clip is captioned 'sa commence', which translated to 'it is starting'.
The next clip shows the footballer chasing the animal around his dining room in front of a child as the cameraman laughs. The cat is seen running away, scared. Zouma then hurls a pair of designer shoes at the escaping pet. The last clip shows Zouma forcefully slapping the cat in the face before snatching it away from a child's arms. The second part of the video was captioned with a series of laughing emojis.
The video generated a lot of reaction on the social media. "@KurtZouma what a piece of shit scum you are. Fucking disgusting. You should be banned from ever having pets again. Rotten," tweeted a user.
"A video obtained by The Sun allegedly shows footballer Kurt Zouma kicking and hitting his cat. It's absolutely disgusting and disturbing footage. I hope he is prosecuted for animal cruelty," wrote another.
Zouma Apologizes for His Behavior
Speaking to The Sun, a source said that Zouma got angry at the cat for accidentally smashing some sort of vase and tearing down a light fixture from the kitchen cupboard. "But what he does next is completely unacceptable. Kurt kicks it, throws shoes at it and then slaps it. The poor cat looked so scared," the source added.
Following the flak on social media, Zouma issued an apology stating that that it was an isolated incident. "I also want to say how deeply sorry I am to anyone who was upset by the video," he said. "I would like to assure everyone that our two cats are perfectly fine and healthy.
"They are loved and cherished by our entire family, and this behaviour was an isolated incident that will not happen again."
West Ham also condemned the player's actions in a statement. "West Ham United unreservedly condemns the actions of our player, Kurt Zouma, in the video that has circulated. We have spoken to Kurt and will be dealing with the matter internally, but we would like to make it clear that we in no way condone cruelty towards animals."